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A Big Sigh of Relief

A Big Sigh of Relief

February 7, 2011
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Juno's home from the MRI.

"Hey, it was nothin' Big Boy, why are you so worried?"
"Well, I was worried that they shaved your jodhpurs, but I see that they are intact, thank dog!"

Thank dog and praise cheeses! The neurologist found nothing, well , except a little too much fat between her skin and muscles. He took images of her low spine, front and back as well as her lumbar spine.Images of both front, back, and cross sections of her spine revealed no inflammation, no tumors and no disk protrusions. Her spine is in great shape. He was unsettled in hearing about her undiagnosed fever last year and wanted to rule out a meningitis that can occur in the low to mid spine as well, so he did a lumbar tap as well, which showed absolutely no abnormal cells. Last year during her hospitalization she had a cervical spinal tap and that was normal too.  The vet noticed she is wobbly, with very little to no muscle in her back legs. He couldn't conduct a complete neuro-exam as she was very unhappy about the entire thing. But he noted that she does not walk properly,  and at this point, there is no neurological reason for this.  I can't tell you how relieved I am that her spine is in good shape.

Like the orthopedic, he is not convinced it is her hip dysplasia because there is no osteoarthritis (bony protrusions growing from the hip socket or femur to cause pain). And he is recommending an ultrasound on her abdominal cavity to rule out any possible abscess or infection as he's seen abscesses in spay operations that were result of something done wrong.  He also recommended more blood work to test for toxoplasmosis, a parasite that responds to the antibiotics that she was once given for her fever but could possibly not have been completely eradicated.

At this point we will be back with the orthopedic surgeon. I would personally like to look further into her blood work for possible signs of other infection or re-run Tick panels (which were done in 2009 when she was sick) just to give me peace of mind. Though she has hip dysplasia, she has regressed this year in her back legs and is more wobbly than ever. And I keep hearing that it's not necessarily caused from the dysplasia. When asked, the neurologist confirmed that her pain can be exercised induced, meaning, her back muscles tense up and tighten after a lot of exercise.

It sure is hard to ask her not to play though:

"Hey stud, how about a little Husky noogy?"

"Ya, that's what I'm talkin about. Get down and stay down, tough guy."

"My name is Juno. Hear me ROAR!"

For now we're certainly going to be doing a lot more of this:

"Hey sister, it's off leash, woo hoo! Catch me if you can!"

"That's sans-laisse en Francais, Big Boy! Talk to the Jodhpurs Baby!"

And a LOT LESS of this:

Pork cutlets braised in two wines with steamed broccoli in champagne vinegar with shallots. Oh my dog, that was to-date my favorite dish. The sauce on the cutlets was heavenly. Too bad for les chiens gras!

They'll be doing a little more of this:

"Last one to Mom is a rotten egg!"

And eating a lot LESS of this:

Lentil soup with pancetta. Another heavenly taste.

I'll continue to do more diagnostics on Juno because I'm not happy that she is regressing in her movement and she has this kind of pain. If everything is ruled out, I will definitely consider surgery for her hips if it is recommended. But for now, I'm happy to have a very cautious orthopedic surgeon rule out everything else.

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15 comments on “A Big Sigh of Relief”

  1. Good news about Juno. Maybe no hip surgery in her future after all? SO - you tempt us all with yummy looking dinners and unless I am missing something on wilddingo.com - you don't give us the recipes?? I think it is only fair for us drooling over your great pictures, to at least know how to make these heavenly dishes !

  2. Great news about Juno... Though so frustrating to still not have complete answers! Sounds like the same path we were on with Darwin last year!
    Have you thought of trying water/swim therapy for building back up her rear leg muscles? When we first started going to our holistic vet she recommended that to help Darwin's gimpy backside. Of course we didn't actually do it, we went with the running on land way, but she said 10 minutes of swimming is equal to like 30min to an hour of walking.

    I want that pork cutlet recipe!!!! I still have yet to try the beer braised beef, but I love having recipes on hand to try out! 🙂

  3. That is good news. Well, except for the part about the gourmet meals catching up with them! 😉 More walking is always a good thing - especially if you don't have any snow on the ground (we've been having issues getting out on long walks because of the inconsistent weather: -5 one day, and 40 another....). And I'll keep repeating this - her apparently idiopathic muscle loss sounds a lot like my husband's - his left calf has been atrophying for 2 years now, and yet they can't figure out why... Although long walks haven't helped him! 😉

    -Dr. Liz (the girls are staring fixedly outside where we've got a thundersnow storm starting up...)

  4. Is she just wobbly and painful in her back legs? I am having some sort of autoimmune problem with my GSD, still undiagnosed really, but it started with a swollen hock, then a high fever of unknown origin, then all her joints started to swell and she was incredibly painful. They think that it's Immune Mediated Poly-arthritis, but are not certain because her last joint tap that was sent for a culture had strep growing in it. They are unsure if the strep is primary or secondary, but my thinking is it's secondary because before this tap was taken she had been on 2 different antibiotics for over a month. All of her tick-borne blood tests were negative. She is now on a different antibiotic and Prednisone and is responding pretty well, but she has lost a lot of muscle while doing tests and waiting for a diagnosis. Some of your descriptions sound a little like my dog though and I just thought I would mention incase it's something you or your vet might want to look into. Hopefully Juno will get all straightened out pretty soon. It's horrible to see them in pain like that.

  5. Glad to hear that everything came back okay, but still must make you worry not knowing exactly. I hope they can figure it out for you and soon.

  6. Big sigh of relief on the spine and back report. Once again, an unsolved mystery. We like that you have a doctor who isn't jumping at surgery right away. We hope more testing and different eyes looking at her will come up with some answers. Meanwhile, you are so right, you can't stop a husky from playing:)

    BTW, those pork chops look soooooooo good.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  7. That is great news so far! I know tick diseases can be tough to diagnose and get a handle on. It's good to see her having so much fun there with Loki!

    Morgan says that she'll be glad to keep an eye on Loki and to help you with those second dinners!

  8. I am thrilled to hear about Juno's spine. That is truly great news. I also really like hearing about your ortho's cautious approach. This is not a vet who is looking for surgeries to do but one who really wants to figure out what is wrong. I think that you found a keeper!

    Let me just mention that even if the muscle tightness is "exercise-induced", there should be an underlying reason. A dog like Juno should be able to run and play without muscle pain.

    I hope that you get to the bottom of it... but I am so happy about her spine.

    K and R are also volunteering to eat those dinners that your dieting dogs can't finish!

  9. Maybe those jodhpurs are weighing down her floofy tail end 😉

    Seriously, nice to see things went reasonably well today albeit without answers -

    Paws khrossed and stuff!


  10. Well that's good news so far! Since she doesn't have any osteoarthritis does that mean if you do find what else could be causing the problem that she might not need the surgery? That would be great! I like that he's trying to figure out what caused the fever too. Please keep us updated and I'll be sending good vibes to Juno. You can't keep the tough Junebug down so keep on playing and having fun. 🙂

  11. Glad to hear her backbone is in tip-top shape, that's a huge relief. And that there's no neurological problem. Maybe Khyra's "fluffy jodphers" theory has some merit... maybe.

    LOVE these pics, there's such a sweetness between those two!

    jack & moo

  12. We're just catching up. Glad Juno's spine looks so good! Sometimes looking for an accurate diagnosis is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Very frustrating!Sounds like you have a good team of doctors to help in the search. Is there anything comparable to polio in humans that could cause mild muscle wasting in dogs? Do muscle issues fall under neurology? Mama's medically ignorant, and tends to associate orthopedics with bone issues and neurologists with nerve & disc issues. Great to see Juno zooming around so happily.

    Jed & Abby

  13. woooo games of chase me, bitey face, race ya, free running and kiss my paw (pic 4) what a great day. Way to go Juno, keeping our paws crossed for you 🙂

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